3D printed LED exterior light

While assembling a plastic building, I decided it would look much better if the exterior lights actually worked, so I set about designing some exterior lights.

I used OpenSCAD to design a half hemispherical shade (5mm diameter) with a small wall mount. A 1mm diameter hole allows for the wiring of a surface mount 0402 LED. After three 3D printing iterations I ended up with a usable design.

I painted the inside with silver acrylic paint, and threaded an LED in to test it out.


As expected, there was a lot of back scatter of the light, so I decided to paint the top black.

At this stage they look rather like toilets.

I threaded in the LEDs. In order to keep the LED facing the right way I found I had to tape the wires to the work surface.

I then added a drop of super glue to each LED and let them dry.

To add them to the building, I drill a small hole with a pin vice.

After threading the wires through the wall I could see that a second coat of black paint was in order to ensure complete coverage.

A drop of super glue holds the light in place.

I will use these on the row of Vollmer buildings I am constructing. I will probably run two 5V power circuits to the buildings, one, always powered, for internal lights and the controller for the butcher shop and the other, switched, for night time when exterior lights are appropriate.

A 5mm light in HO scale represents a 43.5cm light - a reasonable size. I could probably make them even smaller.